USF’s fall play, Reefer Madness, drew packed audiences to its seven performances this November. The College Players, USF’s on campus performing arts association, sponsored the production, a satirical musical about marijuana use in the early 1930’s. The melodrama follows the relationship of teenage sweethearts Jimmy and Mary, whose relationship is compromised when Jimmy is seduced by a drug-dealing clan of society’s “undesirables.” The story unfolds under the direction of the Lecturer, who narrates the story.
The production was directed by Joey Price and starred exclusively USF students. Senior James Godbolt gave an exceptional performance as the Lecturer, as well as playing several other minor roles and appearing in nearly every scene. Lauren Bellenie, a freshman performing for the first time at USF, portrayed Sally, a marijuana-addicted harlot. Her witty performance, as well as her singing ability, both amused and impressed the audience. Deidre Doyle gave a riveting performance as Mae, the victim of drug-induced domestic violence, who suffers from an emotional breakdown in the second act of the performance.
The cast as a whole performed well together, creating an entertaining and comical show. Reefer Madness combined dance, song, and drama in a provocative spin on reality that kept the audience laughing and intrigued. The set design, which included a two-story structure, was bare but effective and costumes were creative and easily identifiable. The biggest flaw of the performance was the problems with microphones, several of which cut out frequently or produced distorted sound. By the end of the show, microphone problems did not take away from the show’s entertainment value or the cast’s talent.